Archiving question

Beth Leonard beth at
Tue Aug 2 05:29:36 EDT 2005

On Mon, Aug 01, 2005 at 02:13:03PM +1000, lesliek at wrote:
> What I did, therefore, was to make a copy of my Gnucash data file and rename it. I then opened Gnucash for the purpose of deleting all pre-1 July
> entries from my current data file. However, I couldn't find a way to delete multiple transactions simultaneously.
> Is there such a facility or must I delete entries one by one?

In the current version of gnucash there is no good way to do this.
Both items (year-end book closing support, and deleting multiple
transactions) are known enhancement requests, but both will have
to wait until after the G2 port is done.

What I have been doing is: once I am certain I have finished all
transactions up to year end is I make an archive of that datafile.
(Finances2004_reconciled.gnucash for example)

In the current working file, add a close-out transaction to each
of your income and expense accounts, to bring each total to 0.00.
For example, if in the previous year you spent $1600.00 on
Expenses:Auto:Gasoline, you add a transaction "Year End Gasoline"
that credits Expenses:Auto:Gasoline and debits Equity:Owner's Equity
for $1600 -- thus zeroing out your gas expenses for the last year,
and indicating that you got $1600 "poorer" in terms of your equity.
If you are using the non-accounting labels, Equity:Owner's Equity
will decrease by $1600, and Expenses:Auto:Gasoline will have a
rebate of $1600 dated 7/31/05.

Note that by default if you had gnucash set up the chart of accounts
for business accounts for you, "Owner's Equity" is called "Retained
Earnings."  I finally got around to showing my accountant gnucash,
and she said it should be called Owner's Equity.  She also had a
few more suggestions for re-arranging which part of the reports
go where, but I digress.  I should probably write all that up
in a separate e-mail so everyone can learn from it.

If you add zeroing transactions like this instead of deleting everything
from the previous year, you gain the type-ahead for filling transactions
for the next year, and you also can make reports that show monthly
expenses over time for example.  The disadvantage is that the
last month of the year will be a bit off in the graphs, because it
includes the transfer to the equity account.  There is also a bug in
that until an account has a non-0 balance, the over-time reports
assume that it had a 0 balance all along, even if that is not the

+                             Beth Leonard                          +
+       O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave              +
+       O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?        +

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